Everybody knows him as the director of hugely successful ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy. A celebrity in his own right, he is one of the most recognizable names in the directing world. He has seen unprecedented success both in commercial and critical space–a rare feat to achieve by all means. There are legions of fans across the globe–and not just in America–who worship him and follow his every move. After James Cameron, Christopher Nolan is the second director make 2 films that have grossed more than $1 billion in the worldwide box office (The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises). He is currently busy directing his next film ‘Dunkirk’ that will release in July next year. For now, though, let’s enlighten you with some of the Christopher Nolan facts that you may not know.
1. Nolan was born in London. His English father, Brendan James Nolan, was an advertising executive, and his American mother, Christina (née Jensen), worked as a flight attendant and an English teacher.
2. He has a younger brother named Jonathan, who has co-written five films with him: ‘Memento’, ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘The Prestige’ and ‘Interstellar’.
3. He began making films at age seven, borrowing his father’s Super 8 camera and shooting short films with his action figures. His uncle who worked at NASA, building guidance systems for the Apollo rockets, sent him some launch footage. He has been fascinated by space ever since then.
4. Growing up, Nolan was a great admirer of Star Wars (1977), and around the age of eight he made a stop motion animation homage called Space Wars.
5. Nolan was president of the Union’s Film Society at his college University College London (UCL), and with his wife, Emma Thomas (his then girlfriend), he screened 35 mm feature films during the school year and used the money earned to produce 16 mm films over the summers.
6. He has both American and British citizenship and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Emma Thomas and four children (3 sons, 1 daughter): Magnus, Rory, Oliver and Flora.
7. Nolan’s first film ‘Following’ was made on a modest budget of £3,000 and was shot on weekends over the course of a year. Interestingly, the film was inspired by Nolan’s experience of living in London and having his flat burgled.
8. During a road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles, his brother Jonathan pitched the idea for “Memento Mori”, about a man with anterograde amnesia who uses notes and tattoos to hunt for his wife’s murderer. Nolan developed a screenplay that told the story in reverse and called it ‘Memento’.
9. His filmmaking process is a combination of intuition and geometry. He draws a lot of pictures and diagrams to illustrate the movement or the rhythm that he is after. Caltech physicist Kip Thorne compared Nolan’s “deep” intuition to scientists such as Albert Einstein, noting that the director intuitively grasped things non-scientists rarely understand.
10. And finally, his 10 favorite movies are: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Black Hole (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Chinatown (1974), The Hitcher (1986), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and Topkapi (1964). And his favorite director is, as you would have guessed, Stanley Kubrick.
The most startling fact out of all–which we all know– is that despite directing many acclaimed films, he has never been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director.
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